New Marriages

As of yesterday today same-sex couples were allowed to be legally married in California.

The first couple in line was Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon…partners of over 55 years.

I’ll never understand the fear.

…Adding… Considering the importance of this day to millions, many editorials have been written on the topic. One that caught my eye had the headline, “Will gay rights trample religious freedom?” It concludes:

If past rulings are any guide, it is religious rights that are likely to be “obliterated” by an emerging popular majority supporting same-sex relationships — and it seems unlikely that the California courts will intervene. That’s a shame.

The article itself presents a nuanced argument, which is a little different than I have heard before. But, as always the point is missed that government sanctioned marriages have nothing to do with church functions.

Also, it peeves me one must support gay rights or not support gay rights, as if every issue was bundled. It is much more nuanced than that. For example, I personally do not support inclusion of sexual orientation onto the list of “hate crimes.” Because I’ve still not been convinced that committing a crime against someone because of their sexual orientation is any worse than committing the same crime for some other reason.

But, of course most view these issues in such black/white terms that it is impossible to get into the complexity of “gay issues.”  You have to be for it all or against it all.  No middle ground.  No real discussion on the merits of each.  You must have a label attached to yourself.

Prez TV Ads. More Negative? Or Less?

A common refrain these days is that political campaigns are getting too negative. Candidates are too nasty, mean, and divisive. It is thought that they don’t talk about the issues as much as they should.

However, truth be told, political scientists have found no such evidence. In fact, comparing campaigns now to those in the not-so-distant past, you’d probably be surprised at how far things have come.

For example, here is probably the most famous Presidential TV ad of all time, LBJ’s “Daisy” spot from 1964…

This basically says: If you don’t vote for LBJ, you will die and the world will end. Ouch.

And how about this. Here’s a 1956 ad for Eisenhower…see if you can find even a single substantive issue mentioned in this fake “parade.” Imagine a Presidential candidate throwing something like this out there now? They’d be a laughingstock…

On a slightly different note, this 1984 Reagan re-election ad is regarded as the best positive TV ad ever crafted. Politically speaking, it is flawless…

What do you think?

Thankful

I’m trying something new today. For 24 straight hours, starting when I woke up, 6:30am, I am going to avoid complaining about anything at all- out loud or in my head. I am going to make a note of any deviations and see how well I manage. It’s only 24 hours. I got the idea from a book I read yesterday.

I spend too much time thinking about how things screwed up, didn’t come out right, are hard, or unfair. In the end…it’s wasted time. Because none of it can be changed and, more importantly, it makes me miss the forest for the trees. I’m lucky as hell.

I love rankings. And if there was a way to rank the 6.8 billion people on the planet on how ‘fortunate’ they have been, I’d be damn near the top. But I still spend time dwelling (mostly in my head) on every little thing that doesn’t go perfectly. I want to stop that.

To start off my new quest, here’s a brief list of big things I’ve got…

1) A family that shows unconditional love. We don’t have much money or fame or class or suave or looks. And so we don’t judge anyone else who doesn’t have those things either. I take for granted how amazing it is to know that no matter what I ever do…how badly I ever fail…I can go home and be surrounded by people reminding me that I am smart and successful and worthwhile and unique. Billions don’t really have that.

2) Friends who never cease to make me feel like a part of a something special. One of the coolest feelings in my short life so far is knowing that the people that allow me to spend time with them are the same people who know all about my good moments, bad moments, and everything in between. Being able to be 100% honest without trying to fit a ‘mold’ is a rarer gift than I usually realize.

3) Living in this country at this time in history. I have the freedom to pursue love and life in my way because of where I live and when I live. I shudder to think of how much tougher my life would be otherwise.

4) My health. There is nothing physically that I cannot do (or try to do). Two arms, two legs, functioning lungs, good eyes, sharp ears…none of these are guaranteed forever.

Actually, if I can keep those 4 things for most of my life I will stay in that top 1% of people on the planet. My complaining about everything else is irrelevant.

So far two hours awake…no complaints…

…Adding… 1 complaint already. I couldn’t stop myself. At the gym this morning I went on in my head for about 15 seconds about how packed the free weight section was and how ridiculous it was to have a single regular bench press for the entire place. Eeek.

…Adding… 2 complaints. Stepped on the scale and noticed I had lost 2.5 pounds this weekend. The opposite of what I want to do. I couldn’t stop myself from bitching in my head about it.

…Adding… 3 complaints. When I checked my bank account, I grumbled about this screwy company that has yet to refund my $110 dollars. It’s been 2 business days. They said they’d get it in 3-5. Oops.

…Adding… 4 complaints. Fiasco at the Credit Union. I needed a check voided and a new one cut. They wouldn’t let me void the check unless I physically had it with me. I don’t. I wasted about 5 minutes cursing under my breath, thinking about how I would write a strongly worded email expressing my disappointment with the services provided by the UIUC Credit Union. Breathe…Breathe… This is all becoming harder than I thought. I need much work. Ha.

…Adding… 5 & 6 & 7 complaints. There was some drama today regarding my future Chicago apartment. The company said that I made out the security deposit incorrectly and kept warning that the entire lease could be lost. I wasted a good 35 mental minutes cursing their idiocy. Later, I forgot my password to check on the status of my loans for law school. I grumbled about how difficult it was to remember. I then bitched to myself when customer service calls to the loan company didn’t go through after 25 minutes. But I’m feeling much better. Serenity Now. Serenity Now.

God Bless Dominant Women

Confession: I’ve long admired dominant women. I particularly savor those key moments when a women says something or does something that makes it clear that they are stronger, smarter, and wittier than the bumbling others around them.

Al, I know you share this characteristic, probably even more than me- I mean it led you to show unwavering support to Hillary up to her bitter end. And I mean bitter.

In honor of those high-class broads who have given me chills over the years, here is a ranking of my top-five female badasses. I figure Father’s Day is a fitting time for this.

NUMBER #5

Jean Smart (Martha Logan, 24). The wife of scumbag VP/President Charles Logan, Martha is the classic political wife who is treated like an infant, but responds by dominating those around her.

NUMBER #4

Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman, Batman Returns). I hate cats, and I don’t particularly care for superhero movies. But something about her is captivating.

NUMBER #3

Sissy Spacek (Carrie White, Carrie). The perfect lesson for us all…be nice, or else.

NUMBER #2

Frances McDormand (Marge the Police Chief, Fargo). Funny. Sane. And so far ahead of everyone else is this movie that is impossible not to fall for her.

The best part of this clip starts about 20s into it and last for about 40s.

NUMBER #1

The Goddess of them all, without any competition, Mrs. Katherine Hepburn. She took control of everything that she was ever in, even those times when she probably wasn’t ‘suppose’ to. This clip from Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner is one of my favorites. Talk about your ultimate put down.

“It’s not that I don’t want to know you Hillary, although I don’t. It’s just that I’m afraid we’re not really the sort of people that you can afford to be associated with. Don’t speak Hillary, just go.”

Flawless…